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Desire2Learn WP_How to Choose and Implement a New Learning Management System

Desire2Learn WP_How to Choose and Implement a New Learning Management System

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Published by Syed Faraz AHmed
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Published by: Syed Faraz AHmed on Sep 08, 2013
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How to Choose andImplement a New LearningManagement System
 
AUGUST 2011
Charlene Douglas, EdDHigher Education Marketing Manager
 
© 2011 Desire2Learn Incorporated. All rights reserved. Unauthorized copying prohibited.
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www.Desire2Learn.com
AUGUST 2011
Charlene Douglas, EdDHigher EducationMarketing Manager.
HOW TO CHOOSE AND IMPLEMENT A NEWLEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
BECAUSE LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS ARE MAJOR INVESTMENTS IN TIME AND MONEY, THEPROCESS FOR CHOOSING A NEW LMS SHOULD BE THOROUGH.
The process of choosing a new Learning Management System includes definingbusiness requirements and a realistic projection of costs (in dollars and time)for the new application for present needs and into the future. The followinginformation will walk you and your institution through some of the majordecisions that are typically considered during the implementation of a new LMS,including: defining the objectives, strategies, resources, functionality, supportand technical aspects required. A typical scenario for choosing a new LMS isprovided; not every educational institution is required to follow this procedure(please check with your Purchasing Department to determine how suchacquisitions have to be done in your organization).
Institutional Considerations
•
Have the reasons why a new LMS is being considered been clearlyidentified (i.e., new to eLearning, outgrown the current system, outdatedor lack of functionality, too expensive, dissatisfied with vendor, need toexpand current online offerings due to budget constraints)?
•
What are the key issues, problems, and/or challenges that a new LMSis to address?
•
Have the staff and budget associated with the task of selecting, implementing,supporting and maintaining a new LMS been identified and earmarked?
The broad use of Learning Management Systems
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(LMSs) across education has become an ingrained component of mosteducational institutions’ learning strategy. Educational institutions find the need to move from first generation and even secondgeneration applications to newer systems that provide the latest functionality demanded by an increasingly sophisticated andexperienced faculty and user community
1
Also called a Virtual Learning Environment or Course Management System
.
 
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www.Desire2Learn.com© 2011 Desire2Learn Incorporated. All rights reserved. Unauthorized copying prohibited.
LEARNING STRATEGY
A learning strategy should reflect how you plan on delivering learning programsto the users who need them to accomplish your educational goals. What is themakeup of your learners – are they distributed learners or mostly/exclusivelyon-campus learners? What are the areas of emphases for your LMS? What newlearning processes would you like to add? How will you measure the successand calculate the Return on Investment (ROI) of your new LMS?Furthermore, it is important to focus on pedagogical approaches and modelsthat are important to your institution (e.g., collaborative learning, problem-basedlearning, case-based learning and experiential learning). Additionally, it isimportant to determine the emphasis given to student-student interaction andquality teaching materials (i.e., text, audio, video and multimedia).
REQUIREMENTS
Most successful LMS implementations include a selection process that engagesall stakeholder groups including faculty, staff and students, representativesfrom different divisions, departments, or lines of business that will be mostaffected by the new initiative. Once the selection committee has been selected,prioritization of requirements can be made in order to find the right LMS thatwill meet your core needs initially and grow to meet your expanded needs in thefuture while remaining stable with regard to cost. Requirements will includefunctional and technical as well as business relationships. This information canbe gathered a variety of ways such as holding a series of meetings, conductingfocus groups, and/or using a survey. The overall process and broad directives aswell as the detailed functionality need to be considered. Clear, unambiquouscritical needs statements and highly differentiated qualification checklistsand documents are invaluable in this process. It is also helpful to consider thefollowing in the analysis of your requirements:
Functional and Technical Requirements
Functional
•
What features are mandatory vs. what are optional?
•
How does the system support the learner, instructor, administration and theoverall learning process?
•
Are grading and reporting formats easy to use, exportable, and supportcustomizable views?
•
Does the system provide a user interface for all level of users to easilyinteract with LMS?
•
What language support do you need?
•
Does the LMS support a variety of pedagogical approaches to instructionand assessment including social learning/media?
•
Is instructional design guidance available to aid in the creation and sharingof content?
•
Does the LMS support the alignment of educational standards to keyteaching and learning outcomes?
•
Is the solution supported by an active community of users?
•
How important is accessibility guidelines and compliance?
•
Is a mobile application available so that learners can access their coursesanytime, anywhere?

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